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Registering numerals in Chile: there's safety in numbers ...

In a ruling earlier this year the Chilean Industrial Property Court overturned the decision of Chile's National Institute of Industrial Property (INAPI) and allowed the registration of the mark 1818 for products in Class 25.

The applicant, Brooks Brothers Group Inc., sought to register the trade mark "1818" -- the year in which the original Brooks Brothers business was founded. Although this application was unopposed, it was rejected ex officio by the head of INAPI on the ground that it was contrary to Articles 19 and 20e of the Industrial Property Law (Law No. 19,039) because the term “1818” was non-distinctive or descriptive of the products in question.

On appeal, the Industrial Property Court took the opposite view and explained:
“as previously resolved by this Court, numbers from 0 to 9 cannot be registered as word marks, since they allow the composition of the remaining numbers (infinite) of the system; in all other cases, numbers are perfectly registrable, and indeed, easily distinguishable from each other, because each of them represents a different amount. This reasoning justifies the registration of the figure ‘1818’ as a trade mark, given that it has its own distinctive characteristics and a particular appearance allowing it to obtain trade mark protection.”
This is good news -- except perhaps for anyone who wants to register the number "8181" for goods in Class 25, which is identical to "1818! when viewed upside down.

Source: "Court Rules on Registration of Numbers as Trademarks", by Francisco Silva, Silva & Cia., Santiago, Chile, INTA Bulletin vo.69 no.18

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